Google updates image search with inline previews and faster performance
Google’s desktop image search is receiving a user interface overhaul starting from today. The update include faster search results, inline previews and a more intuitive design. The changes will be rolling out gradually to all users over the coming days.
The new image search interface provides users with large image previews right from within the search results themselves. This is all thanks to a new inline preview panel that slides open to reveal information about the selected image. To give you an idea of how this works, the effect is similar to the folder and album animations found in Apple’s respective iOS and iTunes 11 software.
When selecting an image, the search results now separate to reveal the new preview pane. Within it you’ll find higher resolution, or full size, previews on the left, and more detailed image metadata on the right. This means you can preview as many image as you choose without ever needing to leave the initial search result page. You can even skip between image results using your keyboard’s cursor keys if you prefer.
Web site owners will be especially pleased to know that the changes do away with the separate preview page. Clicking previews traditionally loads the entire source web site in the background alongside the larger preview image. This is an unnecessary use of bandwidth for both the user and the webmaster and can be very costly to large domains that host many popular images results.
Removal of this separate source page also speeds up the browsing experience and data usage for general users, whilst greatly increasing the speed of search results in the process.
Google still provides links to the host domain, as well as links to the image’s source page, but it will no longer pre-load the entire page in the background. These links are displayed on the right hand side of the preview panel, along with additional image metadata, such as title, size, date, resolution, and even the camera used to take the photo (where applicable).
Google also stated on their Webmasters Central Blog that: “there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two. In our tests, we’ve seen a net increase in the average click-through rate to the hosting website.” Even more reason to be cheerful if you’re a web site owner.
If you are already seeing the new images search features in your browser, please let us know what you think in the comments.Tagged in: google
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